Though you may not realize it, every issue of BRANDPACKAGING has a theme. As I was putting together this month’s issue, I knew most, if not all, of the articles would focus on the topic of branding — we do enjoy a habit of hosting a rogue, but useful, piece here and there. What I wasn’t expecting was for them to have a common sub-theme, yet there it was: Brands do best when their packages tell the brand’s story, allowing them to emotionally connect with consumers.  
It makes perfect sense: Though there is discussion on how friendly brands should get with consumers, there’s never any debate that relationships, once established, need dimension to survive. 
I price-comparison shop on many purchases, and there are plenty of products I buy just because they work, but I wouldn’t claim a connection with those brands and, in fact, regularly cheat on them as I see if there are better things to take their places. Yes, we are fickle as buyers. But don’t use that as an excuse to give up: It is possible to get consumers to commit to a brand as the one and only. They just need a reason to do so, and your package reinforces that message.
If you’re not entirely convinced, start with Promise Keepers, our cover story beginning on page 6. By the end of the issue, I think you will see why so many experts all came to the same conclusion about branding, and packaging’s role in it, this month.
Maybe your packaging already represents the brand’s purpose for being. If that’s the case, this bit is for you. We just opened submissions to the 2013 Design Gallery, and until August 31, we are looking for packaging that effectively tells a brand’s story through design and structure and connects with the consumer. We will feature the best packages at Packaging That Sells, in print and online. Visit to sign up.  
Laura Zielinski